Center for Comparative Archaeology
University of Pittsburgh
Information for Authors

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We publish books of various kinds on comparative archaeological research in any part of the world. In particular, we focus on primary reports of archaeological research--reports that reach conclusions of broad enough importance to be of interest for comparative studies and that support their conclusions with detailed primary data and full accounts of the analyses that connect these data to the conclusions. Some of these reports appear in one of three series initiated by Latin American Archaeology Publications. Memoirs in Latin American Archaeology has a larger page size and a format designed to accommodate longer works, while Latin American Archaeology Reports has a smaller page size and a format more suitable for shorter works. Separate reports on archaeological research conducted outside Latin America follow one or the other of these formats, as appropriate. The series Arqueología de México reports on research in Mexico and is published jointly with the Mexican Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. Previously published volumes are listed at index.html. (Select "University of Pittsburgh.") Many of the books that we publish are bilingual.

As information technology evolves we will make increasing use of the opportunities offered by digital publication. Our aim is to pioneer new forms of organizing archaeological data for publication that exploit both the advantages of traditional publication on paper as well as the advantages of the Internet. In general we seek to make printed books smaller, more economical, and more synthetic and to deliver large amounts of detailed primary data digitally to complement the printed books. The Comparative Archaeology Database is the on-line home of these digital datasets.

We are eager to discuss potential publications with authors relatively early in the process, so that we can collaborate with them in crafting a strategy for complementary paper and digital presentation of their work. Publication projects are reviewed by our own editorial committee, and outside reviewers, as needed. Interested authors are encouraged to contact Robert Drennan or Loukas Barton to discuss publication of their work.

Matters of Style

We ask authors to provide clearly written and stylistically correct text for both traditional and digital components of a publication. Compactness and directness of expression is strongly encouraged. Authors should follow the Society for American Archaeology's Style Guide (sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.9, which deal with textual elements, citations, and references). Particularly useful guidance is found in:

  • Section 3.3.2, Numbers,
  • Section 3.3.3, Metric Measurements,
  • Section 3.3.5, Radiometric ages and dates,
  • Section 3.3.11, Abbreviations, and
  • Section 3.3.12, Accents.

An additional useful reference is the Chicago Manual of Style. Please do not use footnotes or endnotes in text destined for publication on paper. (The issue of footnotes, of course, does not arise in the case of material destined for the Internet.)

Manuscript Preparation for Publication on Paper

Text destined for paper publication does not need to be elegantly formatted, because such formatting will only have to be removed later in the publication process. When accepted and ready for publication, text, of course, should be submitted in digital form. Generally a Word document works best (.doc files, not .docx files). When final revisions have been made, the author should print the text and proofread it completely. A paper copy of the text that corresponds exactly to the files submitted should also be provided. Needless to say, authors should keep copies of all files in exactly the form they have been submitted to us. Once a manuscript has been accepted with final revisions, it is final; no further changes can be made.

It is often convenient to submit a separate file for each chapter. Please adhere to the following rules in preparing text files destined for paper publication:

  • Use a font size large enough to be read with ease (this will depend on the font chosen--likely between 10-point and 12-point).
  • Single-space all text.
  • Do not include any tables or graphics in the file; submit them separately (see below).
  • Have your word processor number all pages beginning with 1 for the first page in each file.
  • Do not use right-justification.
  • Do not divide words at the ends of lines (i.e. turn off automatic hyphenation).
  • Use a single return (produced by striking the <Enter> key once) at the end of each paragraph, not two. Do not use returns for any other purpose. Do not use returns to force text onto the next line or page. For the bibliography, make the author's name one paragraph (ended by striking the <Enter> key once) and the information about the work a second paragraph (also ended by striking the <Enter> key once). This paragraph about the work should begin with the date, which should be followed by only a single space, not a <Tab> or any other character.
  • Do not begin paragraphs with tabs or spaces to cause indentation; do this with paragraph style indentation settings. Try not to use tabs at all. If hanging indentation is used (as in bulleted lists or bibliographies), do it with paragraph style margin and indentation settings, not with returns, tabs, or spaces. Never use multiple spaces together or tabs to create extra space in any context. Use only one space (not two) after periods at the ends of sentences.
  • Boldface and multiple fonts are not ordinarily used in text.

Preparation of Figures for Publication on Paper

Graphical material should never be included in the text file (above). All figures should be numbered in a single sequence. (That is, we call them all "figures;" there are no "maps," "charts," "photographs," or "plates.") The most convenient numbering scheme starts over in each chapter (Figure 1.1, 1.2, etc. in Chapter 1; Figure 2.1, 2.2, etc. in Chapter 2). All figures must be referred to in the text. The first figure referred to in the Chapter 1 text is Figure 1.1; the second referred to is Figure 1.2; etc.

Line drawings should be submitted in digital form. For black and white line art, submit either bitmap or gray-scale .TIF files. Resolution should be 1200 dots per inch, calculated at the size the figure will appear in the book. That is, if the illustration is finally intended to appear 5 inches wide by 4 inches high, then the .TIF file must be 6000 pixels wide and 4800 pixels high. If your .TIF file is 1200 pixels wide and 960 pixels high it has only 240 dots per inch of resolution. This cannot be remedied by simply opening the .TIF file with Photoshop and changing the resolution to 1200 dpi. It will be necessary to go back to Illustrator or AutoCAD or whatever program produced the illustration and save a new .TIF file with sufficient resolution. Yes, the files will be very large; but do not use any form of .TIF compression (these are not standard for different software). A copy on paper at the size the figure is intended to appear should also be submitted as well as the .TIF file.

Plan carefully for the size at which figures will finally appear. All our publications except Latin American Archaeology Reports can accommodate illustrations up to 6.75 by 9.5 inches (17.2 by 24 cm); the Report format, up to 5.25 by 8 inches (13.3 by 20.3 cm). (Space for captions must be subtracted from these dimensions.) Larger illustrations can often be divided across two facing pages, providing a usable space (including caption) of 13.5 by 9.5 inches (34.4 by 24 cm)-- or 10.5 by 8 inches (26.7 by 20.3 cm) in the Report format. It is often convenient for the reader if comparable line art is all at the same scale. For example, a series of plans of different excavated areas that vary in size are easier to compare if they are all presented at a scale where, say, 1 cm on the printed page equals 1 m, rather than if all occupy the full width of a page, regardless of what the scale turns out to be. This requires careful advance planning, so that even the largest plan will fit on a page and so that text comes out the same size on the page in all of them. Graphical scales should always appear in figures; scale should never be indicated as a ratio, e.g. 1:1,000. Use care in choosing text sizes for figures. There is no reason for text in figures to be appreciably larger than the text on the page, and if it is appreciably smaller it will probably not be legible. This means most text in figures should be between 1.5 and 2.0 mm high, although larger text may be appropriate in some contexts, much as headings in text use larger type. Sans serif fonts (such as Arial as opposed to Times Roman) are easier to read at smaller sizes. For bilingual publication, text in both languages must be included in figures when they are prepared for submission, because figures are only printed once, with a caption in both languages. Be sure lines are heavy enough to reproduce well at the size the figure will finally appear.

Photographs and other figures involving shades of gray should be submitted as .TIF or .JPG files. When saving .JPG files, use as little compression as possible. Resolution should work out to at least 600 dots per inch at the size the figures are finally to appear. As with line drawings, a low-resolution image does not become high-resolution when it is opened with Photoshop and resampled to more dots per inch. We cannot publish color illustrations on paper, but they can appear on line in the Comparative Archaeology Database.

Preparation of Tables for Publication on Paper

Tables do not normally include material prepared as graphic images by authors. They are text and numbers organized in rows and columns rather than paragraphs. Tables should never be included in the text files. Each should be a separate Excel spreadsheet file (.xls not .xlsx), not a Word processor "table" document. Like figures, all tables must be referred to in the text and numbered in the order they are referred to (usually Table 1.1 for the first in Chapter 1, etc.). They should all be accompanied by a copy printed on paper as well. In tables that consist primarily of numbers, they will be printed only once in bilingual publications, with text in both languages, and this should be borne in mind when tables are being prepared.

The Comparative Archaeology Database

The Comparative Archaeology Database complements traditional printed books, and this is where we now make available most of the detailed data that have traditionally appeared as large tables, figures, and descriptions in printed volumes. Such material is usually difficult or expensive to publish on paper but economical and advantageous to make available electronically. Such material could include, but is not limited to, quantitative data that is most readily utilized by importing to a database or statistical analysis program; map data that might most easily be used by importing into a GIS program; graphics in color, since we can only print black-and-white graphics; voluminous and detailed data and descriptions of many kinds. The printed book should be self-contained, in that all information needed to understand how the conclusions were reached should be included, but detailed supporting data will be presented in the on-line database.

Preparation of material destined for the Comparative Archaeology Database will require close collaboration between Center publications staff and authors, because the nature of this material is highly varied. Such collaboration should begin before much work is invested in the preparation of this material. In general, however, text should be in very plain Word .doc files. Tables should be in Excel .xls files. Line drawings should be in the native file formats of the programs used to prepare them (.AI for Illustrator, .DWG for AutoCAD, etc.). Photographs may be .TIF or .JPG files.